Double Standards in Covering Religious — or Anti-Religious — Violence


Oleh Asrudin Azwar & Yohanes Sulaiman (Tulisan ini pernah dimuat koran The Jakarta Globe, 18 Februari 2015).

Last week in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a man murdered three of his neighbors. The case didn’t get much attention until there was a public outcry about the media coverage of the shooting  — or the lack of it — due to the fact that the victims were all Muslims and the perpetrator a middle-aged atheist white guy.

Then, a few days later, a gunman opened fire on Cafe Krudttonden in Copenhagen, Denmark. The attack took place during a discussion on art, blasphemy and freedom of expression, commemorating the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, the author of “The Satanic Verses.” Lars Vilks, the Swedish cartoonist who is known for his controversial drawings of the Prophet Muhammed, was in attendance and an eyewitness suggested that he was the actual target of the attack. Continue reading